Submitted by Stu Houston
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Parts of track maybe closed due to logging operations but usually a detour is put in place. Island may also close due to high fire risk. Island access gate is closed during hours of darkness daily.
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This is a great flat run close to Nelson and Richmond and Rabbit Island has plenty of scope to cut your distance down or up as tracks criss-cross through the production Pine Forest.
Drive out to the front Beach and park at the most Western carpark where you will see the Interpretation panels for the Great Taste Trail. Don't start your run close to sunset as the access gate is locked at sunset every day. You can also run around the island from Mapua as there is a ferry service across to the Island - check their website for a timetable.
From the carpark follow the Great Taste Trail West (anticlockwise around the island) until you reach the ferry landing opposite Mapua, then carry on around the well marked trail around the circumference of the island back to relink into the Great Taste Trail and back to your car. There are mountain bike trails that go off the track at different points that allow you to lengthen or shorten your run. Take a nice dip in the sea after your run.
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Features of interest
Nice mix of coastal beach and pine plantation running and great views of Mapua and Waimea Inlet.
Make Up of Run
Easy Single Track: 50%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 50%
Start is located at the Western end of the front beach
Plenty of parking along front beach. No public transport; area is popular and generally safe.
Keep the sea or Ken Beck drive on your right and you can't go wrong. If lost just head for the sea.
Windproof jacket, Cellphone, Map.
Bring your own water. DON'T drink from any fire ponds as the water is toxic
Good all year
There are Bio hazard areas on island - don't enter these areas if marked.
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